Fast-break points from my Mad Men withdrawal:
21. Mike Hartline: It sure sounds that if the injured (knee ligament) Kentucky starting quarterback holds up this week in practice, he will get the call when UK goes for bowl eligibility Saturday at Vanderbilt.
20. Rich Brooks on Mike Hartline playing Saturday: "He has to do the things our offense requires without hobbling around and favoring his knee."
19. Rich Brooks on replacement QB Morgan Newton's improvement: "I think the Morgan Newton you saw (vs. Eastern Kentucky) was light years from the Morgan Newton you saw in the Auburn game."
Never miss a local story.
18. UK's starting quarterback quandary: It's asking an awful lot of a quarterback to come back after missing four games and win the contest that may determine the outcome of the season.
17. My two cents: If it were my call, I'd stay with freshman Newton as the starter, then give Hartline a chance to be the hero if the UK offense sputters.
16. Rich Brooks on redshirting freshman QB Ryan Mossakowski: "He's still not at the strength level he needs to be in the weight room. The impressive thing to me about him in the practices ... is that his decision-making is pretty good."
15. Alfonso Smith: The Kentucky running back says he and his fellow seniors are thinking about their legacy and UK's three-year bowl steak. Said Smith: "We don't want to be the class that lets that end. It's very important."
14. Rich Brooks on bowling at UK: "That extra month of practice is critical in the development of young players, particularly when they aren't, quote, the five-star players. You need fundamental coaching and development of those players so they can reach their full potential."
13. Western Kentucky University football, 2006: WKU President Gary Ransdell and Athletics Director Wood Selig visited the Herald-Leader to talk about the school's decision to move to the Football Bowl Sub-Division. Both said they understood making the transition from what used to be 1-AA football would be difficult and pledged to be patient with head coach David Elson.
12. Western Kentucky University football, 2009: Mired in a 17-game losing streak and giving up almost 45 points a game in 2009, WKU fired Elson before its first full season in the FBS was over.
11. Tommy West: Speaking of coaches who got fired Monday, go on the Internet and find the fiery, post-ouster news conference from the deposed Memphis Tigers coach. It's a doozy.
10. Matt Ballard's bare feet: When the Morehead State football coach went without shoes during his team's Oct. 24 matchup with Marist for the charity Samaritan's Feet, there were the equivalent of 600 pairs of shoes donated during the game alone for poor children in South Africa
(You can still contribute by texting "shoes" to 85944; $5 will be charged to your cell phone bill).
9. Jada Hood: The daughter of Eastern Kentucky University football coach Dean Hood suffers from the same degenerative disease that cost basketball star Alonzo Mourning his kidneys. But the EKU coach says, so far, Jada is doing well. "She's getting into cheerleading and just running around and being a 6-year-old girl," Dean Hood said last week.
8. Mad Men: I thought the now-concluded season three of the best show on TV was more erratic than the prior two seasons — but the final three episodes were brilliant.
7. March 16 in Memphis: Should be rather interesting — it is the day that the Chicago Bulls are slated to bring Derrick Rose back to town to face the Grizzlies.
6. Rajon Rondo: With an NBA championship ring and a $55 million Celtics contract extension all before he turns 24, the polarizing ex-UK point guard has proven a lot of people in these parts wrong.
5. Michael Porter ... at safety? The former Kentucky basketball player — who was recruited in football as well as hoops out of high school — said he had talks this past summer with the University of Nevada about playing safety for the Wolf Pack this fall but decided not to pursue it.
4. Kenneth Faried: Count me as anxious to see Morehead State's rebounding machine go against Patrick Patterson.
3. DeMarcus Cousins: I'm ready to see what Kentucky's ebullient freshman big man can do against some guys his own size.
2. Darnell Dodson: UK basketball's junior-college transfer swingman is better than I expected.
1. John Wall: Is it possible that the lavishly praised Wall is actually ... under-hyped?